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scrutiny. david martin is at the pentagon. >> reporter: the use of drones to hunt and kill suspected terrorists has replaced the all-out air strikes with which the wars in iraq and afghanistan began. drones have become the first line of defense against terrorists shadowing and striking them in remote areas of pakistan and yemen. >> impact. >> i'm a big advocate of drones. >> reporter: today former defense secretary robert gates argue head that in addition to the advantage of not putting a pilot's life at risk drones cause remarkably few civilian casualties. >> first of all the numbers i believe are extremely small. and second you do have the ability to limit that collateral damage more than with any other weapon system that you have. >> reporter: critics dispute that and say civilian casualties fuel hatred of america and create more terrorists than they kill. but armed drones are only increasing in number. this helicopter drone which the navy uses for surveillance is about to be armed with laser guided rockets. giving it the capability to launch strikes from the back of ships. and th
in the words of the secretary of defense t destroys the pentagon. >> now if there is any summer lining in this mess t is that the cuts would phase in gradually. but if the two party kos find agreement after a few weeks or even months, a lot of the damage could probably on undone. jeff? >> jeff: bill plante, thank you. thousands 6 environmental activists marched in washington today to protest plans for the keystone xl oil pipeline. if it gets government approval keystone would carry oil from canada to refineries in texas. the pipeline would create 20,000 jobs but opponents say that the environmental risk is too great. it is tax season and the ils is battling a rising tide of refund fraud cases caused by identity theft. a sweep last month netted 109 arrests and 189 indictments for a crime that could cost the country $21 billion over the next five years. seth doa ne has a case in point. >> reporter: in 2011 businessmen joe bianco waited patiently for a $10,000 tax refund. when he contacted the irs it said it had already been paid. >> somebody had filed with a forged w-2 from wal-mart clai
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